Oil and gas exploration, development and production company Europa Oil & Gas plc has announce it has been offered four new Licensing Options (‘LOs’) as part of phase two of the Atlantic Ireland round in the southern Porcupine Basin, the Padraig Basin and the Slyne Trough.
The company understands it will shortly be issued with a formal offer letter from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (‘DCENR’), at which point Europa will confirm its acceptance of the LOs.
Once all the offers have been accepted DCENR will publish a map showing the awarded LOs and the relevant companies. Following the completion of a work programme, Europa has the option to apply to the Irish authorities for their consent to convert each LO into a full Frontier Exploration Licence (‘FEL’). Licence awards in the 2015 Atlantic Ireland round have been made in two phases.
Phase one announced on 11 February 2016 was for 14 Licensing Options and involves eight companies: Eni, Europa, ExxonMobil, Nexen, Scotia, Statoil and Woodside as operators, along with BP who will partner with Eni. Europa was awarded LO 16/2 in phase one.
Phase two announced on 3 June 2016 is for 14 Licensing Options and involves 11 companies: AzEire Petroleum, Capricorn Ireland, Europa Oil and Gas, Faroe Petroleum, Petrel Resources, Predator Oil and Gas, Providence Resources, Ratio Petroleum and Scotia Oil and Gas, all as operators, along with Theseus who will partner Predator, and Sosina Exploration who will partner Providence. Europa has been awarded four LOs in phase two.
Europa CEO Hugh Mackay said, “We are delighted with the offer of four Licensing Options in phase two of the 2015 Atlantic Ireland round against strong competition and further building our Irish licence portfolio. Subject to formal award, we will have a diversified portfolio of seven high impact exploration licences across three basins in offshore Ireland and representing a range of geological risk, hydrocarbon plays and exploration maturity. We look forward to providing technical information to the market once our offers have been formally accepted. Europa has a leading position in the Atlantic basins of Ireland; a region that has now emerged as a global exploration hotspot with major and mid-cap oil companies taking substantial acreage positions and associated work programmes.
“Europa was one of the pioneer companies who have played a role in reactivating industry interest in Atlantic Ireland and we feel that the entry of majors and super-majors is providing validation of our belief in Ireland’s exploration potential. This is a hugely exciting moment for Europa and for the rest of the industry and we hope that exploration momentum continues to build and that at some point in the not too distant future the exploration potential is realised with a significant discovery.”